Emma Zeb represents Gloucester Constabulary in 8-day Article 2 inquest into the death of Mark Kentish

Emma Zeb, a member of our specialist and complex inquest team, was instructed by Robert Hams, Partner at Wansbroughs to represent Gloucester Constabulary in an 8-day Article 2 inquest into the death of Mark Kentish.

A “failure of care” led to the death of Mark Kentish when he was tackled and restrained by a security guard and caretaker at Stowfield business park in Lydbrook two years ago, an inquest jury concluded.

Emma’s role in this inquest is another example of her being instructed in a high profile inquest involving the examination of the duties, actions and management of agencies in the care of an individual.

After receiving the jury’s conclusion, the assistant Gloucestershire Coroner Caroline Saunders made recommendations under Section 28 of the Coroners Regulations in a bid to prevent a similar tragedy happening in future.

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View profile: Emma Zeb

St John’s Chambers congratulates Kathryn Skellorn QC & Emma Zeb on their appointment as Recorders

We are delighted to announce that our members Kathryn Skellorn QC and Emma Zeb have each been appointed to sit as a Recorder by the Judicial Office. The appointments will take effect from 4 April 2018

Kathryn and Emma have been deployed to sit on the Western Circuit.

Head of Chambers, Susan Hunter says “I am delighted to hear that Kathryn and Emma have been appointed as Recorders and I have no doubt they will show the same talent and commitment to the service of the wider public as they do in their practices.”

This year’s appointments sees a total of 133 Recorders appointed. A full list of the 2018 Recorder appointments along with their circuit allocation and deployment can be viewed by clicking here.

Kathryn Skellorn’s CV can be found here.

Emma Zeb’s CV can be found here.

Congratulations once again to both Kathryn and Emma

St John’s Chambers raise £930 for The Coroners’ Courts Support Service

Following the success of our ‘Inquests and The Coroners’ Courts Support Service Seminar’ sponsored by Renvilles last December, we are pleased to announce that a grand total of £930 was raised for the charity, an independent voluntary organisation whose trained volunteers offer emotional support and practical help to bereaved families, witnesses and others attending an Inquest at a Coroner’s Court. Beverley Radcliffe, CCSS Director says “That’s fantastic and once again, thank you for organising and hosting the event – we really did appreciate it.

The event provided a personal insight into the support service from members of the CCSS and an overview of recent legal development in the field. Our Complex & Serious Inquest Team is the only one on the Western Circuit to be recommended in Legal 500, with both speakers, Tom Leeper and Emma Zeb, also being recognised as Leading Juniors. The Team often represents bereaved families, as well as government departments and agencies, such as the MOD, MOJ, and health authorities, in lengthy and complex inquests, that attract considerable media coverage. The Team is renowned for both technical expertise and great advocacy skills in what are inevitably highly sensitive and emotive proceedings.

Guest speakers included our seminar Chair, HM Senior Coroner for the Area of Avon, Maria Voisin; Roey Burden, OBE, Beverley Radcliffe and Margaret Briggs of The Coroners’ Courts Support Service; Mike Bird, Enable Law; Mike Renville, Renvilles and Lisa O’Dwyer of AvMA.

The seminar received excellent feedback with comments such as:

Excellent content, useful to gain understanding of the role of the CCSS and helpful updates.”

Informative and comprehensive seminar, thank you.”

Inquests: more fundamental change on the horizon? Latest article from Marcus Coates-Walker

St John’s Chambers’ InquestsPersonal Injury and Clinical Negligence barrister Marcus Coates-Walker once again provides an update for readers on another interesting area of the law. Marcus discusses whether there is more fundamental change on the horizon with two reports published following wide scale reviews, which make over 130 recommendations for improvement between them. He asks readers whether we are we set to see another fundamental shift in how inquests are conducted?

In the last week we have seen two headline-worthy publications focusing on the fundamental principles that guide the inquest process.

On 30 October 2017, the Government published its response to the ‘Independent Review of Deaths and Serious Incidents in Police Custody’ conducted by Dame Elish Angiolini QC earlier this year (‘the Angiolini report’).

Then, on 1 November 2017, The Right Reverend James Jones KBE published his report titled ‘The patronising disposition of unaccountable power’ – A report to ensure the pain and suffering of the families involved in the Hillsborough inquests was not repeated (‘the Hillsborough report’).

They are two reports that go to the very heart of the principles that govern the inquest process. So what are the key points and what impact are they likely to have?…

Read/download the full article: Inquests: more fundamental change on the horizon?

If you would like to instruct Marcus on a related matter please contact his clerks:  | 0117 923 4730 

St John’s Chambers providing ‘London-quality advice locally’ with ‘a good breadth and depth of expertise’

We are delighted to announce that St John’s Chambers has been recommended as a Top Tier Set in the Western Circuit’s Leading Set by The Legal 500 United Kingdom 2017.

For one solicitor, St John’s Chambers is ‘one of the leading sets in the South West’, providing ‘London-quality advice locally’ with ‘a good breadth and depth of expertise’. We specialise in civil matters and have been noted for our strength in commercial, construction, family, personal injury, clinical negligence, regulatory and public law matters. Inquests and inquiries is another key area for our Chambers’.

Three of our QCs are listed in the Western Circuits “Leading silks” list, The Legal 500 United Kingdom 2017’s guide to outstanding silks nationwide.

Christopher Sharp QC, Family and children law & personal injury and clinical negligence, “He has a brilliant mind that understands the intricacies of any case.”

Leslie Blohm QC, Commercial, banking, insolvency, Chancery law and Property, “He is very grounded but has an air of absolute authority.”

Kathryn Skellorn QC, Family and children law, “Clients are in awe of her.”

In addition to the success of our QC’s, 38 of our barristers are listed in the “Leading juniors” list, The Legal 500 United Kingdom 2017’s guide to outstanding juniors nationwide.

To view further details on our Chambers’ listings please click here

Tom Leeper advises at inquest of Josh Clayton

Tom LeeperTom Leeper (Call 1991), experienced Inquest barrister at St Johns Chambers, has been advising at the inquest of Josh Clayton, a holiday island worker whose body was found on rocks near Tresco in September 2015. Tom is advising the Clayton family who have called for a new police investigation after the collapse of the inquest. Tom has said “erroneous assumptions” that Josh Clayton had not been involved in an altercation at the party, “have resulted in an inadequate investigation to date”. The pathologist Dr Russell Delaney told the inquest that there were no signs of Mr Clayton drowning and the cause of death was “unascertained”.

Please click this link to read the full story:

Tom advises and represents clients in clinical negligence and personal injury cases and is regularly instructed in inquests. He sits as Assistant Deputy Coroner for Warwickshire and acts as Counsel to the Inquest.

View profile : Tom Leeper


Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from everyone at St John’s Chambers


Over the festive period, Chambers will be closed from 4.00pm on Friday, 23rd December and will re-open from 10.00am until 4.00pm on Thursday 29th December through to Friday 30th December.

We will open again for normal business hours on Tuesday, 3th January 2017.

For any emergency enquiries, please see our out of hours numbers.

St John’s Chambers welcomes Marcus Coates-Walker

Marcus Coates-WalkerSt John’s Chambers is pleased to welcome Marcus Coates-Walker as a new member of our personal injury, clinical negligence, and inquest teams following successful completion of his pupillage this month.

During his pupillage Marcus was supervised and mentored by Emma Zeb and head of St John’s Chambers’ personal injury team, Glyn Edwards. With them he experienced an extremely broad range of cases across the entire spectrum of personal injury, clinical negligence and inquest work.

He regularly conducts cases in the County Court, including fast-track hearings, small claims hearings, MOJ Stage 3 hearings, Infant Approvals and interim applications. He has also drafted pleadings and advices in personal injury and clinical negligence cases. Marcus is also frequently asked to advise on the application and operation of the Pre-Action Protocols for low value personal injury claims in RTAs, Employer’s Liability and Public Liability cases. He has recently published an article on the potential costs issues in claims which no longer continue under the Pre-Action Protocols because contributory negligence has been alleged, which you can download below. Marcus also has a strong desire to develop his clinical negligence and inquest work. He is happy to take instructions from all parties and Interested Persons.

Download article: The hole in the costs regime for claims no longer continuing under the road traffic accident pre action protocol

Glyn Edwards, Head of Personal Injury Practice Group said: “Marcus Coates-Walker came to St John’s with a varied and rich background of experience that has informed his quick progress to a high level of competence as a young barrister. He has impressed all who have had dealings with him – he is thorough, pragmatic, personable, highly articulate and very energetic in his approach to all his work. He will be a very valuable addition to our growing and vibrant junior level in the personal injury team. We are confident that he has a terrific future.”

If you would like to discuss instructing Marcus, please contact his clerks on 0117 923 4730 or e-mail .

View profile: Marcus Coates-Walker

St John’s Chambers and Lucy Reed winners at Bristol Law Society Legal Awards

bls-annual-awards-email-stamps18We are delighted to announce that St John’s Chambers have been awarded ‘Chambers of the Year’ at the Bristol Law Society’s Annual Awards on Thursday, 13th October.  It was a very successful evening for St John’s with family barrister Lucy Reed also winning ‘Barrister of the Year’.

Attending from St John’s were Susan Hunter, Head of Chambers, Derek Jenkins, CEO, Elaine Jewell-Moore, Family Clerk, Paul Bennett, Commercial and Chancery Clerk , Alex Troup, Barrister, and their guests.

Having also won Chambers of the Year in 2015, these awards clearly identify Chambers continued commitment to the legal and wider community. Bristol Law Society’s annual awards recognise the important work in the Bristol legal community, celebrating their many successes and outstanding achievements.

Derek Jenkins, Chief Executive said: “Winning ‘Chambers of the Year’ award for two consecutive years demonstrates the excellent quality of legal services and range of expertise offered by St John’s Chambers. In the last 12 months Chambers has been involved in many landmark decisions, as well as leading initiatives designed to ensure that those who need justice are able to access it.” 

Lucy Reed said “I’m proud to be part of such a vibrant legal community here in Bristol, and I recognise that the support and contribution of colleagues both in and outside of chambers has been an important part of the background to my winning this award.”

Susan Hunter Head of Chambers said “We are very proud to have won this years Chambers of the Year Award and extremely pleased that Lucy’s outstanding contribution to her profession and the wider legal community has been recognised. Well done to everyone who was shortlisted, and the other winners – what a fabulous night!”

Bristol Law Society shortlist St John’s for ‘Chambers of the Year’ award

St John’s Chambers is delighted to announce that we have been shortlisted for ‘Chambers of the Year’ at the Bristol Law Society’s Annual Awards 2016, being one of three sets to be nominated. This clearly identifies Chambers continued commitment to the legal profession and wider community having won this award in 2015. For men